Last week, Questia Group attended the 5th-anniversary edition of Market Trends in Romania, an event organized by ESOMAR in Bucharest. Therefore, this Monday we decided to present some insights that we’ve found compelling and refreshing for the Romanian market research industry. We chose 5 presentations that caught our attention and we briefly present them below.

1) From Consumer Insights to Business Impact

Tom De Ruyck, Managing Partner, InSites Consulting, Professor at IESEG, Belgium

What are insights and how do we communicate them? How can they be used in business? According to a Market Research Impact study in 2014, only 45% of insights professionals and marketers believe research succeeds in changing attitudes and decisions for marketers. Moreover, 92% reported their research projects generate insights worth sharing with their colleagues, yet only 65% actually share the results of their research internally. The findings are puzzling, and we need to take a step back and understand some basic facts.

What are insights?

Definition = It’s me (consumer recognizes themselves) + A-ha! (something new to learn) + love (passion and emotions).

For instance, Airbnb sells itself not as a typical bed and breakfast, but a way to see places and meet people.

How insights flow?

Each company needs a content marketing strategy – but for their employees as well. All insights from reports and presentations should be fruitfully used afterward and shared to all company members.

How to make a sharing culture of consumer insights?

Consumer insights should be presented in a unique, unusual way, at the same time by educating people through a content marketing plan. Insights can help companies if one understands what type of data people need. This can happen at the project level by:

  • Engaging - before the actual presentation is made (e.g. making a campaign for the presentation by putting up posters, videos, photos, infographics, quizzes etc.). For instance, it would be very enriching to have consumers upload pictures and complete a mini-ethnographic self-description in a survey.
  • Inspiring - when one delivers a presentation (e.g. talk less and have more impact, by showing fewer slides – 20 slides for 20 minutes)
  • Activating – after the presentation is made (e.g. making sure people remember the presentation afterward). Thus, we should pay more attention to “infotainment” – presenting our findings and insights in a creative, entertaining manner, at the same time adapting to consumers (program online surveys to be fit for mobile, use research communities so to learn and collaborate with consumers and better understand and communicate with consumers using tactics such as gameplay, audio-visuals or creative techniques).

2) Finding new stories in old data

Oana Popa Rengle – Insight consultant via Qual Research, Anamnesis

What happens with reports after they have been presented and their insights delivered? By using narrative psychotherapy in market research, we can help brands find their alternative stories, by recycling some old research as the canvas for all the narratives of brands.

Narrative psychotherapy has been around since the 70s-80s, helping people identify their resources and create a new narrative about themselves, to better confront whatever problems they face. People’s life stories have explanatory value and narrative therapy is used both as a technique and instrument because it can deconstruct dominant (negative) life stories. This approach can be used with brands. How?

The brief represents the dominant story of a client/ brand. However, it does not contain other alternative stories, just the ones we already know.
The first thing to do is consider the events, dates and the insights from a brand’s life and place them on a map.

The alternative story is based on resources than can place the brand outside the dominant story.
The dominant story is constructed on a limited set of data. One can create an alternative story by:

  • Recovering data/ information from previous reports
  • Replacing all the data on a map
  • Reconnect the dots in a different way.

In order to succeed, both people and brands should “let go of the dominant story” and try the alternative one: Re-cover – Re-map – Re-connect.

3) Human brain vs. Automated Research

Ellis Suban, Independent Business Owner, ElQual Group; Roxana Georgescu, International Market Research Expert and Innovation Strategist

From the first big wave of technology that inspired changes in market research of online panels and surveys, to the second wave oriented towards qualitative techniques such as consumer diaries, what would be the third wave of technology use in market research?

Moreover, we live in a VUCA world: vulnerable, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. In order to better understand it and challenge it, we must ‘doubt the bubble’ and follow uncertainty so to deconstruct it. This means we should embrace Vision, Understanding, Clarity and Agility. In this case, how can technology – i.e. automatization of data collection help?

The case study presented involved 300 CATI from rural and urban areas, with both women and men aged 15 +, but with a twist. Some were interviewed by an operator, while some by “Rob” – an automated voice that helped to collect the data.

Findings show that people had a better interaction with other humans, rather than Rob. Therefore, automatization can be a helping tool in some cases, rather than other. For instance, automatization can:

  • Get things done faster and with fewer costs
  • Be more consistent and deal with fewer errors
  • Improve sharing and dissemination
  • Possibly increase revenue
  • Make research easier
  • Do more with less
  • Help in the analysis of ‘mountains of data’

However, automatization gets a bit more complicated when one wants to measure emotional responses, add value through interpretation, make a cognitive analysis in terms of social context, regional etc. relevant for a particular product or social conditions.

4) Adultsplaining: A tale of parents speaking for their kids & kids fighting back

Ioana Bobe, Senior Qualitative Researcher, ISRA Center; Alexandra Sandu, Senior Qualitative Researcher, ISRA Center

‘Adultsplaining’ is an analysis of parenting styles by looking at parent-kids’ dynamics from different methodological angles, from extended digital and face-to-face ethnographies. It involves tracing the challenges, emotions, and vulnerabilities of parents and their children. What we found interesting was how the researchers analyzed the secret online lives of kids, or the secret ‘talent impresario’ that can be found lurking in every parent.

The ethnographic studies have been carried out at home and at the playgrounds, as well as online, with 40 families and children aged 3 to 12. The findings show typologies of parents, based on their attitudes towards childhood. These are:

  • Traditional views, that encompass ‘fellow’ parents who generally have small children and see childhood through their eyes
  • Child-raise/ arms raise childhood – parents who almost militarize childhood and consider that every activity the child has must be translated in performance (minimum 2 after-school activities/child; peer pressure for kids and parents; prize-steria etc.)
  • Neo-childhood – parents who are ‘personality coaches’ – don’t see childhood as something different than adulthood and want to engage children in artistic activities and to make them responsible citizens. Neo-childhood is the re-imagination and re-negotiation of childhood made by parents. However, in this process, parents infringe activities to controlled spaces (the rise of safe zones that are applied to living spaces such as gathered communities, schools and free time). However, children outsmart their parents and brands.

5) Quantity or Quality? You Decide. Collecting better data through shorter surveys

Steve Wigmore, Director – Research Technology, Lightspeed, United Kingdom

Keeping respondents engaged in online research is an issue that entangles the debates on data quantity vs. quality. In this presentation, the aim was to review the implications of the length and repetition of surveys on response quality, as well as foster the discussion of practical and scientific methods which can help to identify how such surveys can be shortened and be made more interesting.

Thus, data collection should be regarded as a dialogue with consumers in the following manner:

  • It should be a two-way conversation
  • Panelists should be incentivized for their work
  • Surveys should be engaging
  • And respondents should feel appreciated.

However, consumers are distracted by the ‘noise’, especially in online surveys where respondents use their mobile phones and are usually multitasking. Respondent fatigue can affect the number of drop-outs, speeding and straight-lighting, pattern answering, nonsense in open-ended responses, ill-considered answers and satisficing.

Thus, we should reduce the length of the interview (max. 15 minutes), be careful when designing the survey – think of survey content as ‘carry-on baggage’ (i.e. only pack what you need), be careful at the impact of repletion, avoid difficult questions and be attentive to mobile respondents.